Types of Company Culture: What Best Fits You?

Culture plays a major role in talent acquisition and retention. Understanding the different types of company culture can help you manage people better.

Company culture has a direct effect on every area of a business, from recruiting new hires to retaining talent to employee engagement. The cultural norms set influence the types of candidates a business attracts and the employees it keeps. As a job seeker, you may be wondering what are the different types of company culture and how you best fit into them. Read on to learn more about the four main types of company culture.

What is Company Culture?

Company culture is the combination of values, beliefs, and behaviors that make up an organization. It describes the environment within which employees operate on a daily basis and dictates how they interact with each other and people outside of the organization. Cultures can have different types depending on the leadership style, business model, size of the company, etc.

The right company culture helps businesses find and keep the best employees. A Glassdoor study found that 77% of adults consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, and 56% think an organization’s culture is more important than compensation. You may be part of these groups and place a high value on company culture. 

Similar research published in the Review of Public Administration Management also states that an organization’s culture can influence how likely employees are to stay with the company. A positive organizational culture — one that emphasizes teamwork, security, and respect for individual employees — can foster loyalty and commitment among all staff members.

4 Types of Company Culture

Robert E. Quinn and Kim Cameron, professors at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School, identify four types of corporate culture:

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1. Clan Culture

A clan culture values relationships and collaboration. Companies with a clan culture focus on building strong teams and creating a sense of community by emphasizing shared visions and goals. This type of culture is particularly suited to small and medium-sized companies.  

Successful organizations in this culture type focus on meeting the needs of their customers and caring for their employees. They place a high value on teamwork, participation, and consensus.

KUBRA is a great example of a type of company that invests heavily in employee development. They offer a wide range of training and mentorship programs to help their employees grow and succeed. It is no surprise that this company has won multiple awards for being an excellent workplace, including the Best Places to Work award from Great Place to Work and Best Company with the Happiest Employees from Comparably.

2. Adhocracy Culture

An adhocracy culture rewards risk-taking and innovation. Companies with this type of culture are focused on the future and provide employees with the freedom to experiment and make mistakes.

Out-of-the-box thinking and creativity are highly valued. For the long term, the organization’s emphasis is on growth and tapping new sources. To find success, companies often release new products and services; being the first to market is usually key. This organization supports employees who come up with their own initiatives and ideas.

Ideas Collide, a creative marketing agency that has earned various “Best Place to Work” awards over the years is a great example of a company fostering innovative thinking. The company promotes creative freedom and collaboration among its team, which helps the business stay ahead of the competition.

3. Market Culture

A market culture focuses on competition and results. Companies with a market culture are typically driven by short-term goals, like increasing profits or improving customer satisfaction.

This type of culture is best suited to larger companies that need to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. Long-term success comes from a focus on competitiveness and measurable targets. Competition, pricing, and market share define success in this context. Being the top dog isn’t just important — it’s essential.

Companies like Axon are highly influenced by their market culture and always have to be one step ahead of their competitors in terms of creativity and new products. This means that having excellent products or services from the get-go is essential for this global leader in connected public safety technologies.

4. Hierarchy Culture

A hierarchy culture values structure and control. Companies with a hierarchical culture have strong decision-making processes in place that dictate how day-to-day operations should be managed. The goal is to ensure that everyone is working toward the same objectives.

Long-term success comes from stability and meeting set goals, as well as being able to execute tasks smoothly. Efficiency is key in achieving this — low cost and reliable delivery are indicative of a successful business. To ensure that employees feel secure in their positions, management must be predictable and consistent in decision-making.

Companies that have a hierarchy culture include large corporate banks, government organizations, and universities. These types of organizations prioritize order, planning, structure, and control in their operations. With this culture, employees are more likely to feel safe within the company, which leads to better employee retention rates.

Culture Matters 

The culture of an organization speaks volumes to outsiders about what kind of team it has and what values it holds. No matter what kind of organization you work for or want to work for, it is important to consider which types of cultures best fit your own personality. By understanding the types of company culture, you can ensure you are putting yourself in the best position to find success and fulfillment in whatever career path you choose.

For example, companies that have received the Arizona’s Most Admired Companies award, which recognizes excellence in workplace culture, leadership, social responsibility, and customer opinion, are organizations with an excellent culture. These companies include the likes of CarMax and Desert Financial Credit Union. Another great award to look for is the 100 Best Arizona Companies list. Workiva is a recent recipient honored for its strong, unique workplace culture. 

At BestCompaniesAZ, we take pride in partnering with businesses that have a strong company culture. Our Best Companies have earned various awards and recognition for their commitment to creating environments that allow employees to reach their full potential. We pair promising talent with organizations with the best culture. Our businesses remain the best in prominent culture and innovative practices year after year. Reach out today to find a company with a culture that matches yours. 

To learn more about some of the best companies in Arizona, visit our website today!


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